Failings of a Kitchen
That Will Knock £1000's Off The Price
We all know that selling a home is not an easy task, and as a process it has a number of aspects that make it one of the biggest causes of stress. But there are a multitude of problems in the kitchen that some people just don’t address.
And since the kitchen (along with the bathroom) is generally considered to be one of the most important rooms in the house for a buyer, you either get it right or you suffer the consequences.
With the kitchen, if serious problems are present, you can expect to see a lot of money being taken away from your original asking price. However, it isn’t as simple as you might think to get the room in the right state for it to be attractive to buyers.
And if you give it more than a low-level clean and paint, by adding effort and creativity, you will find that you have a desirable kitchen. And that adds value.
What a great kitchen can do for your home
First, let’s look at what a great kitchen can do for your home. As you can see in the table below, it offers a 49% return on investment. If you spent up to £10,000 on this important room, you would be looking at getting around £5,000 back via the asking price. This should show you just how important it is to get the kitchen right.
|Top home improvements||Return on Investment||Profit (Median)||Average Costs|
|Source: This is Money|
So, what are these problems then?
We’ll point out the obvious first of all.
If your kitchen is messy and/or dirty, you can consider that to be a problem. It’s not going to sell your kitchen and it most certainly isn’t going to help you sell your house if all you have in the kitchen is an eyesore.
If you’re hoping that people will ‘look beyond’ the mess in front of them, let us assure you that they won’t. People come to look at a home to see if they would be comfortable and happy living in it. They’re coming to see another way of living.
When they see that the floor is dirty, or that the work surfaces are stuffed with junk, they’re going to want to leave the room. And that can’t sell your home. So if you’re in a home that has a messy kitchen, it needs taking care of if you want to sell. It’s perfectly feasible, by the way, that someone may still want to buy your property with mess, dirt or grime in the kitchen. But they won’t pay full price.
This is perhaps the one area of preparing your kitchen for the house sale that can prove to be costly. If you’re the owner of a kitchen that hasn’t been updated for years, it’s going to turn a large number of potential buyers away.
While it’s true that some people can see through the dated kitchen, it can mean that it sets off alarm bells in their heads, and this leads to them asking for a price reduction. They’ll do this because they know that the kitchen needs updating, and that costs money. So to reduce the impact upon them financially, they’ll simply argue for the lower price. And it will be thousands that they’ll ask for, not just hundreds.
Make an investment in some new units, units that are neutral and easy on the eye. Avoid buying units that are heavily stylised. The investment you make here means that you will have less of a chance that you need to be reducing your price.
New, fresh and clean flooring is another area you could investigate. It’s not incredibly expensive, and you will present a room that looks new. Aim to maintain that sense of neutrality in your decor with a flooring choice that is calming, and clean-looking.
Read: Why Your Floors May Be the Weakest Link in a Building Survey
When it comes to the actual work surfaces, you don’t have to go out and buy the latest granite top surface. A big positive here is that a work surface only really needs to be clean and tidy for it to be a factor in a house sale. Buy a new one if the surface is outdated or visibly damaged. Otherwise, the emptier you keep the surface, the better.
The appeal of the kitchen, and how to ruin it
The kitchen is often the place where families congregate, parties take place, and where people start their day. If it isn’t perfect, you’re looking at a lower price.
People want to make their mark on a home. A clean and neutral kitchen is one of the best ways to help them visualize doing just that. If you present prospective buyers with a kitchen that has an awful colour scheme (think dark brown or terracotta), you’re looking at a possible problem.
It’s a classic piece of advice. If you’re selling a home, make the property neutral. A kitchen will feel bigger and will feel like it has more potential if you have a neutral colour scheme, and a complete lack of clutter.
If the kitchen is small, you are already at a disadvantage.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. Invest in making space - but make sure you know the rules. Knocking a wall down or adding an extension to make a kitchen bigger (through a kitchen-diner room) will add value and prevent users from automatically calculating a discount.
The above issues can all be avoided. Take the time to look at the kitchen and see if there is anything like the above hanging over it. By dealing with the issues before you try and sell, you are minimising the chances of a discount being asked for.